There is (taken from an interview with Susan Borham – Sunday Life magazine), a Japanese aesthetic called wabi-sabi “about humility, imperfection, asymmetry and the passing of time, as in the way materials weather with age”.
I’m coming to truly fall in love with wabi-sabi, and love having a name to apply to it. The things that I treasure in my home, are the things that I have had for a long time – perhaps collected from a market somewhere, or in a shop, that had to be bought – not always because they were stylish, but because of their simple shape or a colour that vibrates in a special way to me.
For too long, I’ve held on to these things – quietly gathering them as the years passed, with one eye on fashion and an ever-changing domestic diorama, and the need for ‘freshness’ and change. Storing them away.
Lately life is too busy to worry about collecting more things and I find the momentary reflections on shape and form found in the everyday can be as soothing as a beautiful mug of tea when you are weary and thirsty for something more. I am starting, quite naturally to look inwards, instead of outwards for satisfaction and growth. Shunning shopping, and embracing re-invention. Gathering and hunting in the home.
A few weeks ago a tall jar broke that I keep my rice in. I’ve had it for a long time. Not beautiful, but functional and tall enough to see amongst the stuff in the pantry. A few years ago I would have done a silent ‘whoot’, and dashed out to find a glamorous new replacement. Enjoying the shopping and the excuse to upgrade. In the back of my mind I was thinking – Hmmm, will have to go to the shops… but while cleaning up the glass and rice in the shelves I found another large jar – actually a nicer one than I had been using, with beans (long expired I’m sure), which is better quality, holds a bit more, and you know – I just love that it was there all along quietly waiting for its turn.
Next challenge – embrace the wabi-sabi (ness) of self. Just a little bit trickier…. 😉